When I first started working with leather, I knew that the primary focus of my business was to build high end quality products using only the best materials available. I did a ton of research to decide who would be my main supplier, why I would want to work with them, and what made them special. The answer was obvious: Horween Leather Company.
Chicago's centric location made it the country's main railroad hub for years during the late 1800's and the early 1900's, and huge amounts of freight moved along the veins of the American Railroad System, all of them stopping (or at least passing) through the city. Tanneries, Shoe Polish Makers and Brush Makers were very popular during this time, and most of them resided in Chicago (wanting to be close to the raw materials they used - most of them remnants and byproducts of the food industry). In a city that once had over 40 tanneries, only one remains today.
Originally founded by Isadore Horween, a Ukrainian who immigrated into Chicago in 1893 and worked in a Chicagoan tannery for 12 years, later deciding that he could make better leather and started the Horween Leather Company. Since its early beginnings, the headquarters have moved only once, and now they are managed by Nick Horween, a fifth generation family employee. Check out the video below for a quick glimpse into this amazing factory:
Over its long history, Horween Leather Company has become a household name, and their leather is a worldwide staple. Their goal continues to mirror its Founders' vision, and they strive daily to create the best leather in the world. They accomplish this by using methods that don't cut corners, and creating components chosen strictly for their quality. They cultivate their experience to offer a wide variety of leathers, inclusive of Chromexcel and Football leathers, all inclusive of traditional old world tannages and techniques, while efficiently incorporating carefully selected updates. Their leather is still made today, by hand, just like it was in the early 1900's.
My favorite part: they continue to offer an unparalled blend of quality, consistency, timeliness and innovation that is unmatched in the industry.